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Just a little bike ride

Members of Teen Challenge head out on the second stage of their charity bike ride Wednesday morning. The riders, who arrived into Selma late Tuesday evening from Alabaster, left Selma en route to their next stop in Monroeville. Their eventual destination is Gulf Shores. -- Tim Reeves

By Robert Hudson

The Selma Times-Journal

A group of more than 30 cyclists left Selma Wednesday morning on a journey hoping to find a better path in life.

Teen Challenge Selma is doing its annual bike-a-thon fundraiser, which takes participants on a bike trip from Alabaster to Gulf Shores in four days.

Pastoral counselor for Teen Challenge Ken Schroeder, who helped lead the group, said Teen Challenge helps put at-risk individuals on the path to a positive life.

“Teen Challenge is a 12 month, residential, Christian-discipleship program for individuals with life-controlling addictions, such as drugs and alcohol,” Schroeder said. “So many of these guys have tried to fix the problem on their own and have not been successful. We believe the only way that they’re going to overcome their drug addiction or alcohol addiction is through a relationship with Christ. As they become more Christ-like and they develop that relationship, their desires for alcohol or drugs are going to diminish and they’re going to find a sense of fulfillment.”

Schroeder said the students of the program raise $1,000 to participate in the bike-a-thon.

“Every year in the fall we have an annual bike-a-thon,” Shroeder said. “We’re riding bicycles from Alabaster to Gulf Shores this week. Each one of the students who are participating in the bike-a-thon has to find sponsors and they have to raise about $1,000 to go on the bike-a-thon.”

The program is aimed at helping get the teens on the right track in life, and break free from addiction.

“The men are 18 years old or older, and we refer to them as students because they are going into the discipleship program,” Schroeder said. “Some of them are here voluntarily, some are court ordered to be in the program. They’re trying to learn a new way of life—a life with a relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Schroeder estimates that it costs approximately $1,100 per student, per month to provide the program for them.

Students pay a $700 entry fee into the program and make up the rest through fundraisers.

The group left Alabaster Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. and road 63 miles to the Selma Teen Challenge Center where they spent the night.

They then left Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. to Monroeville.

The group will leave Monroeville on Thursday to go to Bay Minette, and then leave Bay Minette and arrive in Gulf Shores on Friday.
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